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This menstrual cup maker gives back to women in developing countries

  • May 28, 2020

Saalt funds projects that educate and provide sustainable menstrual solutions to women around the world.

At the beginning of the pandemic, when everyone was panic-buying toilet paper and diapers, I told a girlfriend that I was relieved to own a menstrual cup. It was one less thing to worry about, knowing I didn’t have to stockpile tampons or pads for an unknown length of time because I already owned a single tiny cup that would do the job for me (almost) indefinitely.

It was the first time I’d ever thought seriously about how awful it would be to live in a world where supplies of tampons and pads could run out, where they are not available in every store at reasonable prices. And yet, this is a reality faced by millions of women worldwide, even when they’re not enduring a pandemic.

I’ve written before about why I love my menstrual cup so much – how it allows me to go longer between changes, exercise normally, sleep comfortably, spend less money, and generate far less waste – but this pandemic has really highlighted for me the stability that a menstrual cup can add to a woman’s life, especially when so many women around the world already carry great burdens of poverty, hard labor, limited education, and raising large families.

In honor of Menstrual Hygiene Day, celebrated globally on May 28, I’d like to highlight the tremendous outreach work done by Saalt, maker of menstrual cups, that truly understands how owning a small cup can make a difference in a woman’s life.

school girls with period productsMenstrual Hygiene Day/Promo image

Saalt was founded by Cherie Hoeger, an entrepreneur and mother of five daughters. She came up with the idea for her company after a phone conversation with an aunt in Venezuela, who was lamenting the lack of period supplies for her own daughters. Cherie “immediately thought of… what she would do if she found herself in the same situation. The dependence she and others had on disposables kept her up at night.” She started buying reusable menstrual pads and eventually transitioned to designing her ideal menstrual cup, which went through thirteen versions until reaching its final design, launched in February 2018.

Saalt stands out from other menstrual cup makers because of its commitment to women in need of better menstrual care. According to a press release, an estimated 500 million women worldwide lack adequate facilities for menstrual hygiene management and 2.4 billion don’t have clean toilets. Saalt donates 2 percent of its revenue to aid menstrual health, education, and sustainability in South America, Africa, and Asia, which has a profound and positive effect on the lives of young girls and women:

“Because the cup can be worn for up to 12 hours, girls can last the school day without having to empty it, and the cup requires minimal water for cleaning which can be carried in a water bottle. The significance could result in women and girls missing less school and work, developing a greater education, and increasing their chances of finishing school.”

menstrual cup outreach© Saalt

Saalt has funded projects to build new latrines and improve water sources in Togo and Uganda. It has run webinar workshops during the current pandemic with women in Nepal on the importance of menstrual health and the benefits of choosing a sustainable period care option. It speaks openly on social media about menstrual health in an effort to open a conversation that affects more than half of the world’s population and desperately needs to be destigmatized.

So, if you have not yet purchased a menstrual cup or are in need of a replacement, Saalt sounds like a great company to support. You can learn more about their work here. (Note: I do not own a Saalt cup myself, but I am sufficiently impressed by their business model to know that I’ll be supporting them when the time comes to replace my Diva cup.)

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